Background: Dental sealants are an effective treatment for the prevention and management of caries.
Objective: To determine the retention of sealants placed in a rural setting in Mexico as part of an international service-learning (ISL) programme and to determine associations between dental sealant's retention and caries diagnosis at the time of sealant placement.
Methods: Children aged 6-15 were examined for dental caries, received sealants by dental students as part of an ISL programme, and were re-examined 4, 2, or 1 years after placement to assess sealant survival. Sealants were placed on permanent sound surfaces and enamel caries lesions [International Caries Assessment and Detection System (ICDAS) criteria]. Sealant survival was explored using Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel tests and multivariate prediction models.
Results: 219 (46%) of 478 (mean age = 10.53 SD = 5.11) children who had received sealants returned for a recall examination (mean age = 10.89 SD = 3.11). After 1-4 years, 96.4% to 60.6% of the sealants placed on sound teeth had survived, and for sealants placed on surfaces with enamel caries lesions (ICDAS 1-3), 94.2% to 55.6% had survived. Differences were not statistically significant.
Conclusions: Sealants had survival rates comparable to those previously reported in the literature. Sealants placed on sound and enamel caries lesions had similar survival rates.
© 2012 The Authors. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry © 2012 BSPD, IAPD and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.